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Lack of Cars Creates Problems for Many in New Orleans

Debate over race, government failures should include cars and mass transit

Adrian Moore
December 6, 2005

One of the many shocking things about Hurricane Katrina the tragedy in New Orleans is how many people did not evacuate the most effected areas before the storm hit. There has been some interesting commentary on how long-term policies might have shaped events. Shreveport Times columnist Emily Metzgar wrote in the Los Angeles Times that the victims of the tragedy were already victims of a failure of policy to lift them out of poverty. But Robert Tracinski, editor and publisher of The Intellectual Activist, offers almost the opposite analysis, pointing out how welfare policies create the conditions and attitudes that should make the post-disaster chaos no surprise.

But the most interesting analysis I have seen yet is by Randal O'Toole, who points out that is wasn't race or wealth (per se) that indicates who evacuated before the storm, it is who did and did not own a car. He examines how decades of policy decision designed to make the residents of New Orleans more dependent on transit doomed them to face the floods. Here is the full text:

Adrian Moore, Ph. D., is vice president of research at Reason Foundation.


Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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